Origin Energy has paid penalties totalling $450,000 after alleged breaches of the Energy Retail Code relating to wrongful disconnection of customer accounts.
Origin Energy penalty notices 2021 (wrongful disconnection)
Origin Energy has paid penalties totalling $450,000 after we issued 90 penalty notices on 13 July 2021. The amount payable for each penalty notice was $5,000.
We issued the penalty notices to Origin Energy after they allegedly wrongfully disconnected 349 customer accounts between 7 February 2019 and 13 February 2020.
We allege that after issuing a disconnection warning notice to customers, but prior to arranging the disconnection of their energy supply, Origin Energy failed to:
- use its best endeavours to contact the customers in relation to the matter, and
- provide customers with clear and unambiguous information about the assistance available under Part 3 of the Energy Retail Code.
The Energy Retail Code requires that a retailer may only arrange disconnection of the premises of a residential customer for not paying a bill if it has, after issuing a disconnection warning notice, used its best endeavours to contact the customer in relation to the matter and, in so doing, provided clear and unambiguous information about the assistance available under Part 3 of the Code.